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Best *A program for someone based in Melbourne

Best *A program for someone based in Melbourne

Old Jun 15, 05, 4:45 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: BNE
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Best *A program for someone based in Melbourne

I am changing over to *A when my oneworld sapphire status is about to lapse as *A carriers seem much more affordable for places I usually go. My aim is to attain *G.

My travel plans every year include:
At least 3 trips to South east Asia (mixed economy/business), at least 2 of which are to SIN.
At least 1 long haul to Europe (usually business)
The occassional trans-tasman

I see myself mainly flying on SQ, TG or LH (there are good joint TG/LH deals to Europe). My amount of flying would put me just over the 50k mark needed for *G on most programs, but that is if I keep up my current level of flying.

I am in the midst of researching the different *A programs. The ones that I looked at include:

- UA. Reputed to be the best program around, but I wont be jumping onto UA metal anytime soon.

- AC. Easy to gain *G (35k miles, very achievable even if I fly everything in Y), which means I will be definitely getting *G even if my amount of flying decreases slightly below the 50k mark. This program was heavily promoted by a Canadian friend of mine. But I also won't be jumping onto AC metal anytime soon.

- TG. Generous benefits, the complimentary return upgrade sounds appealing. I will most definitely be flying this airline in business to Europe as they are so cheap. And maybe to Asia if the destinations are located at reasonable proximity to TG's BKK hub (ie no roundabout transits).

- SQ. This will be the airline I fly most for travels to Asia, a mix of business and economy class. However its program seems very stingy in the benefits KF gold members enjoy.

In none of the *A programs have I noticed any minimum sector requirements. Which works for me as I like trying out different airlines occassionally. Another reason to change to *A as it provides more of a choice.

Given the above analysis, I think I would on balance pick AC Aeroplan or TG Orchid Plus. It's easier to qualify for AC Aeroplan but as someone else pointed out all the elite benefits exclusively on AC would be wasted if I don't fly AC. TG Orchid Plus looks fantastic and I can see myself flying on TG, but I also hear they are in a devaluation process?

The prequisites of attaining TG Gold as stated on their website are also rather confusing:

"This top tier status is attained with Qualifying Miles earned during 3 evaluation periods.

50,000 Q Miles Miles from the date of enrolment up to December 31 of the same year, or 50,000 Q Miles during the first complete calendar year after enrolment.

80,000 Q Miles from the date of enrolment up to December 31 of the next complete calendar year.

40 international flown sectors on THAI within any 1 calendar year."

Do they mean any one of those methods will qualify? Or do I need to fulfill all 3 points? :S

But which should I eventually pick? Oh the decisions....Someone help!! I think I've already made a historic decision to dump QF FFP and jump to *A so this time I would hope to make the right choice.

Any advice from the *A gurus here would be much appreciated.

Cheers,
Keith
Keith009 is offline  
Old Jun 15, 05, 9:47 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia.
Programs: QF Platinum One (LTG), UA Plat IHG Plat
Posts: 5,831
I think I've seen this thread posted in multiple forums alredy. You should really stick to one - so I'm posting a response here in the Star forum.

Sounds like TG is your go for the sole reason of the upgrade awards and most of your flying involving TG to Asia and Europe (and with the rollout of TG's new C and F products, they become quite reasonable to fly as opposed to the nasty old equipment). I wonder if the prices will stay (relatively) low though?

AC is reasonable for the "cheap" status but the upgrade perks once there would be next to useless, and AC only currently flies ex-SYD anyway (the MEL effort didn't last long, alas).

SQ KF might also be an idea specially as you said some of your trips are in C class - you could also go for PPS status that way.

Also LH might be an option given the LH fares being low, and their status multipliers for paid C - but watch out for the low earnings on low fares (admittedly TG also does this now with their V class I think).

On the whole sounds like you've researched things fairly well.

Oh, on the TG issue.. you can qualify for *G by any of the 3 means - ie: 50k in one year OR 80k over 2 or the 40 TG sectors in 1 year. It's definately NOT all 3.

Enjoy your flying something other than QF9 MEL-SIN
RichardMEL is offline  
Old Jun 15, 05, 10:11 am
  #3  
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Hehe phew I thought they want people to wait 2 years before they'd would grant Gold status. I was thinking...gawd they only want very dedicated members hey.

Sounds like TG it is, maybe this way I can get to experience F all the way to Europe using the free upgrades. The only way I'd be able to experience long haul F...:P
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Old Jun 15, 05, 11:38 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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What about NZ? They have a decent south asian network out of AKL, and codeshares (not just partners) with UA/AC/SQ..
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Old Jun 15, 05, 12:18 pm
  #5  
Moderator: GLBT travelers, India-based Airlines and India; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
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Originally Posted by oopsz
What about NZ? They have a decent south asian network out of AKL, and codeshares (not just partners) with UA/AC/SQ..
Using NZ via AKL for a MEL pax to SE Asia would involve backtracking and also a considerable addition to the time involved.
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Old Jun 16, 05, 3:10 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia.
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True but the AKL lounge is really nice and the duty free prices are decent with the NZD where it is
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Old Jun 16, 05, 5:10 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 657
Originally Posted by RichardMEL
True but the AKL lounge is really nice and the duty free prices are decent with the NZD where it is
It was only just over two years when you used to get NZD 1.20 for an Aussie dollar though
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Old Jun 16, 05, 5:16 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by AJLondon
Using NZ via AKL for a MEL pax to SE Asia would involve backtracking and also a considerable addition to the time involved.
Exactly. Very rarely will people (except MRs or lucrative fares offered) want to fly a lenghty 1800 + miles east and then comeback northwest and eat up an additional 5 hours in flying.
Rejuvenated is offline  

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